Prison return rates decrease slightly

Spring Creek Correctional Center

Spring Creek Correctional Center. (Wikimedia Commons Photo)

Department of Corrections officials say fewer people released from Alaska prisons are committing crimes that return them to custody.

Deputy Commissioner Ron Taylor also says more inmates are completing substance abuse treatment.

Taylor testified earlier this week before the legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee.

Returning prisoners are a major factor in the prison population growth.

The department says the recidivism rate in 2007 for prisoners released three years before was 66 percent.

The 2013 rate fell to 63.5 percent for prisoners released in 2010.

Taylor says the state began seriously reviewing recidivism rates in 2007 and took steps to provide better services upon release.

He says 45 percent of prisoners in substance abuse programs completed them in 2010. The completion rate increased to 65 percent in 2013.

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